The Path of Metamorphosis is a Path of Enlightenment that controls the Beast by studying its limits and the limits of vampirism in general. The Path is the result of the earlier Road of Metamorphosis and it is practiced mostly by the Tzimisce clan.
Adherents are called Metamorphosists.
The Path of Metamorphosis is one of the most inhumane paths. For its followers, the world is made up of evolutionary chains. Animals are below humans, who are below the Kindred. The metaphysical, arcane members of Clan Tzimisce follow this Path since their settling within the lands around the Carpathian mountains, which focuses on defining and attaining the state of being beyond the curse of vampirism. Citing their transformative use of Vicissitude, the Tzimisce believe they have the potential to transcend the constraints of the flesh.
They believe that the next step is a state akin to apotheosis, which they call Azhi Dahaka, after the dragon of Persian mythology, and they will do anything – anything – to achieve it. It is a distant, lonely philosophy, removed from any needs other than the matter of sustenance. Followers should be heedless of others around them, existing only to satisfy their personal concerns, until they achieve Azhi Dahaka, which will completely separate them from rest of the world in a similar manner to an inverted Nirvāṇa. Metamorphosists often face a different problem from those who walk other Paths: Rather than struggling to uphold the tenets of their Path, Metamorphosists struggle to discover just what those tenets actually are, each for themselves. Most followers of the path keep a journal of sorts, classically called the Phrygian Codex, which details their journey to Metamorphosis. Codizes of Elder Metamorphosist are highly prized by their younger contemporaries.
For most Metamorphosists, physical change precedes spiritual change. Some believe, despite the obvious evidence of their undead existence, that no creature possesses a soul and that the Curse of Caine represents flesh run rampant, flesh liberated from the obliterating cycle of life and death. Others hold that the soul is just the body summarized. As a result, most prize the use of Vicissitude and/or Protean for the shapeshifting powers these disciplines lend.
Metamorphosists see potential in the undead form. They strengthen their bones to weather crushing blows or sharpen them into pikes for impaling enemies. They relocate their vital organs to make their digestion of blood more efficient. Others ignore the physical element and instead seek to exploit the peculiar nature of undeath. Some such Metamorphosists feed only on their fellow Cainites, believing that an aversion to mortal blood is a sign of metaphysical superiority. There are many approaches to Azhi Dahaka, but ultimately, no one can say which road is the most efficient.
Metamorphosists are cold, utterly inhuman, and exactingly scientific. Their concerns are metaphysical rather than ethical, and it is precisely this frame of mind that leads many to believe that the Metamorphosists have literally begun their transformation into something else. Some take this a step further by altering their flesh in various means until they no longer have a recognizable gender or look even remotely human. For this sake, many adopt the Sabbat, but pay merely lip services to the sect in order to continue their studies.
- Learn the characteristics of all stages of life and death
- One should not concern oneself overly with mortals, as they are inherently inferior to even the lowest Kindred
- Do not share knowledge with others, as its value lies in achieving it alone
- Indulge the Beast and deny it; true comprehension requires a broad range of experience
- Alter your body in every possible way to find a way to fundamentally alter the soul
- Do not heed the needs or desires of others, as their lack of introspection may distract even the keenest intellect
Hierarchy of Sins
|Path of Metamorphosis|
|10||Postponing feeding when hungry.||Hunger causes distraction.|
|9||Indulging in pleasure.||Hedonism deters one from greater ends.|
|8||Asking another for knowledge.||The lessons of Metamorphosis are secrets that must be uncovered, not copied.|
|7||Sharing knowledge with another.||Knowledge must be learned, not simply illustrated.|
|6||Refusing to kill, when knowledge may be gained from it.||Before superseding death, the Metamorphosist must understand the phenomenon.|
|5||Failing to ride out a Frenzy.||A Kindred must know the Beast to transcend it.|
|4||Considering the needs of others.||Those who can't be bothered to attain Metamorphosis are beneath one's attention.|
|3||Failure to experiment, even at risk to oneself.||The Path may be understood only through empirical research.|
|2||Neglecting to alter one's own body.||Physical change must be attained before any more significant metamorphosis.|
|1||Exhibiting compassion for others.||The fates of others drag one into devolution, not transcendence.|
Views on Metamorphosis
"Eat, sleep, shit, fuck, die — what a list of chores! The Embrace delivers us from this drudgery, but still, we have our bad habits. Blood for one, and betrayal. Metamorphosis surpasses the Curse of Caine. Metamorphosis is the end of necessity, the unfettering of the ego."
— Peter Plogojowitz, Ex-sanguinist
"The Path has no definite end. Metamorphosis is a sojourn. It's perpetual transition. Most people die like they live, waving their impotent little fists in the face of the universe. Not me. I've got places to go, metaphysically speaking. I don't look up to the stars in the sky. The stars look up to me."
— Arnold Paole, advisor to the Voivode
"When you're safe in your own haven, surrounded by furniture you've built yourself — twit's Metamorphosis. Right now, I'm into working with lots of different materials. Children's bones are very malleable, but they don't bear much weight, so you have to use a lot of them. I'm very happy with this fainting couch I just finished; it cries when you sit on it, but I'll show it to you if you like."
— Ahriman Berney-Scott, feng shui enthusiast
"No one can show you Metamorphosis. The condition is, by definition, lofty. And once you achieve it, I can only imagine that describing it would be like explaining parliamentary procedure to a murder of crows. I hesitate to call such a state transcendental, since the word bears so many limited mortal notions. But I assure you — Metamorphosis is utterly inhuman."
— Troilus Cressida, Ductus of the Golgotha's Nails pack
|Vampire: The Masquerade Paths|
|Sabbat Paths||Path of Caine · Path of Cathari · Path of Death and the Soul · Path of Honorable Accord · Path of Metamorphosis · Path of Night · Path of Orion · Path of Power and the Inner Voice · Path of Redemption (Nocturnal variant) · Path of the Beast (Feral Heart variant/Harmony variant)|
|Setite Paths||Path of Ecstasy · Path of Sutekh · Path of the Warrior · Path of Typhon|
|Ravnos Paths||Path of Paradox (Mayaparisatya · Saṃsāra · Weig)|
|Tal'Mahe'Ra Paths||Path of the Scorched Heart · Path of Self-Focus|
|Other Paths||Sharia El-Sama · Path of Blood (without the Blood Curse/under the Blood Curse) · Path of Bones · Path of Entelechy · Path of Lilith · Path of Evil Revelations · Path of the Hive · Path of Asakku|